What Will it Take to Make Concerts Safe Again?

Concert violence has dangerously increased in recent years, leaving individuals frightened. In 2017, more than 80 were killed in the bombing at Manchester Arena and shooting on the Las Vegas Strip combined. 

Recently in Houston Texas, 10 died in a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival. No gun, no bombs, no weapons — just an overwhelming amount of fans rushing to see rapper Travis Scott. The Astroworld tragedy, a horror of violence is now trending nationwide. 

As was true for each tragedy, fans were left stuck in danger, as exits were non-existent or crowded. We need security to implement emergency escape plans ensuring easy access out of concert venues. If fans can escape the madness more quickly, maybe fewer lives will be lost. 

Unfortunately, security can’t prevent every shooting or bombing from occurring, especially since most weapons possessed are outside of the venue. But, if an emergency does occur, allowing fans to escape easier will only protect fans and security’s lives. 

Over the summer, I attended a Thomas Rhett concert in Bristow, VA. The concert was overall a success except for the extended rain delay. The start time for the concert was 7pm, but thunder and lightning delayed the concert an hour or so. When it was finally time to enter the concert venue, security was limited. 

Metal detectors were turned off, and all types of bags were allowed in. At that time, I was frightened by the lack of initiative from security members. 

When the concert ended it took over an hour to exit the venue safely. If there was an emergency, no one could have escaped in an orderly manner, and many lives would have been lost. This experience highlighted the necessity of the solution I presented before, allowing easy access out of concert venues in an emergency. 

At the concert I attended, using an emergency escape plan was not necessary, as no one was in danger. Nonetheless, in an event like Astroworld, an escape plan could have been used and executed. 

For instance, a plan could be designed to use technology to announce nearest exits. Text messages could be sent out to all fans, notifying fans where the closest exit is. This way, fans are not confused where to exit, and are not worried about endangering themselves while leaving. 

In addition, security could create extra emergency exits throughout various concert venues. This would allow fans more access to leave, and provide more room for paramedics. 

One might say, allowing easier access out of the arena would make it easier for weapons or threats to enter. 

While I can understand why one might think access inside the arena would be easier than ever, an emergency escape plan and extra exits are only needed when there is an anticipated  danger of harm. 

Fans should be able to enjoy a night out listening to their favorite singer, and know that if an emergency does occur, they will be protected by security.